Last week workers took to the streets to participate in a protest dubbed the “Day Without Immigrants”, which was meant to demonstrate the importance of immigrants in the workplace and what the country would be like without them.
Organizers of the protest claimed to be fighting for immigrants rights, as well as combating what they call negativity coming from the Trump administration regarding immigration. However, the group failed to mention that President Trump and his policies are targeting illegal immigration, as opposed to those who follow the law and enter America through the legal process.
“There is a growing consensus on standing up to the politics of division being played by this administration,” said Clarissa Martinez, the deputy vice president of research, advocacy, and legislation at the National Council of La Raza, the largest Latino civil rights group in the U.S.
“All you hear from this administration [about immigrants] is negative, but a vast population understand that immigrants are part of who we are, part of our economic engine,” she added.
The protest, however, went unnoticed by large portions of the country, with most of the business closures taking place in urban areas like Washington D.C., where over 50 restaurants were shut down for the day. In Austin, Texas, it’s estimated that 40% of students missed school that day, along with thousands of children in the Forth Worth School District, both areas with a high Hispanic presence.
Inevitably, some students and workers took advantage of the protest in order to get time off work or school, using the excuse of fighting for a cause, but many employees found themselves without job the following day.
As The Hill reports, over 100 employees were terminated from their jobs after skipping work to participate in the protest, or for pressuring fellow employees to participate if they didn’t wish to on their own accord. An eatery called Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers in Long Island, New York, had police waiting for the 25 employees who skipped work that day, or attempted to strong arm their co-workers into doing the same, and were escorted off the premises after being fired.
Twenty-five workers at Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers in Long Island, N.Y., were fired as well. There, police escorted the workers from the restaurant after they returned from the protest.
In a statement, the restaurant said employees were asked to find someone to fill their shift if they chose to participate in the event. The business also said that the owner dismissed several employees for pressuring colleagues to join the protest.
“While some employees opted to participate in the walkout, several others chose to work and, as a result, the leaders of the protest put pressure on the others to walk out, even threatening physical harm to colleagues choosing to work their shifts,” John Zaher, a spokesman for the business, said in a statement.
“As it is Ben’s mission to provide a safe and welcoming work environment for all employees, company owner Ronnie Dragoon found this to be a cause for immediate dismissal of the employees who made the threats,” the statement continued. “All other employees involved with the walkout were, and still are, invited to return to their positions with the company.”
Many states have “At-Will Employment” laws, which allow companies to terminate employees without giving them a reason, essentially meaning they can fire you whenever and for whatever cause they want, as long as they don’t specifically give a reason that could then be challenged under discrimination laws.
Workers at Bradley Coatings in Tennessee who abandoned their jobs to join the ‘Day Without Immigrants’ protest also found themselves unemployed, as the company had informed their employees that no one would be excused if they decided to skip work that day.
The nationwide strike on Thursday was aimed at President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. About 20 employees were fired at Bradley Coatings Inc., in Nolensville, Tenn., after participating in the protest. NBC News reported a statement from the company’s attorney said the employees knew they were risking termination by participating in the protest.
I can imagine that there were also plenty of high school students who jumped at the chance to skip a day of classes, even if they didn’t plan on participating in the protest, as the “cause” gave them all the justification they needed.
The irony in the Day Without Immigrants protest is that President Trump’s policies are not targeting immigration in general, but instead advocate for protecting Americans against the threats presented by open borders, un-vetted migrants from terror prone countries, drug smuggling and illegal immigration that pose the risk of people who want to do the country harm entering the country.
It looks like as a result of Donald Trump’s policies, jobs are once again opening up for Americans, and if you’ve been out of work in one of the cities these companies are located in, perhaps you could consider applying.